Bullpen Report: August 18, 2017

It has now been a full week since Aroldis Chapman put himself in jeopardy of blowing a save against the Red Sox by starting the ninth inning with three consecutive walks. Little has gone right since then.

To recap, he blew a save on Sunday, recorded a save on Tuesday despite allowing an Amed Rosario two-run homer and sat out Wednesday and Thursday due to a hamstring injury. Though Joe Girardi has insisted that Chapman is still his closer, on Friday, he brought him in for the bottom of the eighth inning against the Red Sox even though the Yankees trailed by a run. Once again, Chapman dug himself a hole, allowing a leadoff single to Rafael Devers (who homered off him on Sunday), walking Christian Vazquez and then allowing a double steal. That set up a two-RBI single by Jackie Bradley, Jr., all before Chapman recorded his first out.

Dellin Betances got the save for the Yankees on Thursday against the Mets, and if Girardi is ready to make a change, he would be the most likely candidate to replace Chapman. If you play in a Yahoo league, you don’t have a great chance of picking up Betances, who is 79 percent owned, but he is far more available in ESPN (64 percent owned) and CBS (49 percent owned) leagues. Whichever site you play on, it’s worth a trip to the waiver wire to see if Betances is still out there.

The Cardinals placed Trevor Rosenthal on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, but it is not yet clear what treatment he will get on the UCL in his right elbow. Rosenthal will see a specialist next week to get a second opinion, and surgery could be a possible outcome. In the meantime, Mike Matheny plans on using both Seung Hwan Oh and Tyler Lyons in save situations. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oh will get the call when right-handed hitters are due up, while Lyons could be used for either righty or lefty batters.

Oh would have gotten a save chance on Thursday against the Pirates, after Lyons took care of the eighth inning, but the Cardinals tacked on four runs in the top of the ninth for an 11-5 lead. Oh came in anyway, and even after allowing singles to righties Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen, he stayed in to pitch to switch-hitting Josh Bell (whom he retired). All in all, Oh stuck around long enough to give up two runs.

On Friday, Matheny called on Matt Bowman to get the save, but after loading the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter, he exited to make way for Zach Duke, and ultimately, Oh. In getting the final two outs, Oh was credited with a save. Despite his recent struggles, Oh is being used as if he is the primary closer in the committee, but I wouldn’t put it past Lyons to work his way into the bulk of the save situations.

Hopefully, the Cardinals’ situation won’t be as confusing as the Angels’. Heading into Friday, Cam Bedrosian had been granted three of the team’s last five save chances, but in the series opener against the Orioles, he was brought in for the sixth inning. This was not a case of Mike Scioscia using Bedrosian to face the opponents’ best hitters in a tight situation. While the Angels did have a two-run lead, the Orioles’ batters due up were Mark Trumbo, Anthony Santander and Caleb Joseph, who were batting in the sixth, seventh and eighth spots. This time around, Scioscia opted to give Yusmeiro Petit a two-inning save chance, but after allowing a Santander single (his first career hit) and a Seth Smith walk, the Angels’ manager turned the game over to Keynan Middleton. The 23-year-old rookie promptly coughed up a Tim Beckham single and a Manny Machado grand slam (his third home run of the game).

The White Sox’s closer situation may have gained some clarity, as Juan Minaya pitched a scoreless ninth inning at Texas for his first career save. This was the first save recorded by a White Sox reliever since the team traded Tyler Clippard to the Astros on Sunday.

The Nationals swapped one reliever on the DL for another on Thursday. Shawn Kelley, who had been recovering from a trapezius strain, was activated, while Ryan Madson was placed on the 10-day DL with a right finger sprain. Thursday also marked the return of Glen Perkins from the DL, and he made his first appearance in coming back from shoulder surgery that night. Perkins entered with a 7-3 deficit to the Indians in the ninth inning and allowed two runs on two hits, one walk and two hit batters. On Friday, the Indians activated Andrew Miller (knee), and he faced three batters to finish out the sixth inning in relief of Corey Kluber in a 10-1 win over the Royals.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
ARI Fernando Rodney Archie Bradley David Hernandez
ATL Arodys Vizcaino Jim Johnson Jose Ramirez
BAL Zach Britton Mychal Givens Brad Brach
BOS Craig Kimbrel Addison Reed Matt Barnes Carson Smith
CHC Wade Davis Justin Wilson Carl Edwards Jr.
CWS Juan Minaya Gregory Infante Jake Petricka Nate Jones
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Drew Storen
CLE Cody Allen Andrew Miller Joe Smith
COL Greg Holland Pat Neshek Adam Ottavino
DET Shane Greene Alex Wilson Joe Jimenez
HOU Ken Giles Chris Devenski Luke Gregerson Will Harris
KC Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria Brandon Maurer
LAA Cam Bedrosian Blake Parker Keynan Middleton Huston Street
LAD Kenley Jansen Luis Avilan Pedro Baez
MIA Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough Junichi Tazawa
MIL Corey Knebel Anthony Swarzak Jacob Barnes
MIN Matt Belisle Trevor Hildenberger Glen Perkins
NYM A.J. Ramos Paul Sewald Jerry Blevins Jeurys Familia
NYY Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances David Robertson
OAK Blake Treinen Ryan Dull Santiago Casilla
PHI Hector Neris Luis Garcia Jesen Therrien
PIT Felipe Rivero Juan Nicasio Joaquin Benoit
STL Seung Hwan Oh Tyler Lyons Matt Bowman Trevor Rosenthal
SD Brad Hand Kirby Yates Phil Maton
SF Sam Dyson Hunter Strickland Mark Melancon
SEA Edwin Diaz Nick Vincent Tony Zych David Phelps
TB Alex Colome Tommy Hunter Steve Cishek
TEX Alex Claudio Jose Leclerc Matt Bush Keone Kela
TOR Roberto Osuna Ryan Tepera Dominic Leone
WSH Sean Doolittle Brandon Kintzler Matt Albers Ryan Madson

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]





Al Melchior has been writing about Fantasy baseball and sim games since 2000, and his work has appeared at CBSSports.com, BaseballHQ, Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster and FanRagSports. He has also participated in Tout Wars' mixed auction league since 2013. You can follow Al on Twitter @almelchiorbb and find more of his work at almelchior.com.

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King Donko of Punchstania
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King Donko of Punchstania

Scioscia deserved everything that happened yesterday. For the love of god just put Bedrosian as closer and leave him alone.

TheUncool
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TheUncool

You would think he wouldn’t mess around like this now that they’re in the thick of the WC race — and w/ a slim lead for the 2nd spot no less.

Shoulda just sent Petit out there first to be the middle innings guy, especially since he clearly thinks Petit can go more than 1 inning (and actually has the track record for that).

And the matchup talk/excuse is just nutty since none of them are lefty. What the heck could he be matching up in such micro-managed fashion? 😛